December 2019

Pervert jailed for the second time in less than a year

A PERVERT nailed by a Rangers top he wore as he bombarded undercover paedophile hunters with sex messages has been jailed for the second time in less than a year.

Mark Armstrong, 49, trawled social media before striking up a conversation with a 12-year-old girl he thought was called Lucy while on bail for similar offences.

But he was unaware ‘Lucy’ was actually an adult woman working undercover to weed out online predators.

Armstrong, of Shotts, Lanarkshire, sent a string of explicit messages to the girl unaware he was being targeted by a sting operation.

The fiend was later confronted at his flat by vigilantes and his arrest was streamed live on Facebook.

Armstrong appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted repeatedly sending messages of a sexual nature and attempting to communicate with a child in December last year.

He was jailed for 12 months by Sheriff Ray Small who ordered him to be kept on licence for a further two years when he is released.

The fiend was also placed on the sex offenders register for ten years.

He was caught by paedo hunters after bombardin a 12-year-old ‘girl’ with messages

Sheriff Small told him: “You pled guilty to an indictment involving sexual offending and the particular nature of the charge was communicating with what you thought to be a child who had not yet attained the age of 13.

“It was not actually a child but you weren’t to know that the person you were speaking with was not genuine but part of an elaborate sting which led to you being arrested.

“Although you appear before me as a first offender, you were on bail no less than three times relating to analogous charges for which you later received a lengthy sentence.

“There would be a number of disposals open to me and I would have been sympathetic to them if it was the only offence, but you were on bail orders for similar offences and that has led me to a different view.

“I have to have regard not only to your personal circumstances but to the public interest and the potential victim of the crime.

“I have come to the view that a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case and I am concerned that the public are protected from harm so will pass an extended sentence.”

Earlier this year Armstrong was caged for two years at Airdrie Sheriff Court after sending messages to two women pretending they were aged 13 and 14.

He was identified after sending photos of himself wearing a Rangers top to the three different decoys he was communicating with unaware he was actually talking to fake accounts.

Armstrong was confronted in the street in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in February last year and was filmed trying to escape the group, even attempting to jump into a passing car as he desperately tried to flee.

February 2019

Paedo Rangers fan who bombarded ‘girls aged 13 and 14’ with sex messages jailed for two years

A PERVERT who was identified by a Rangers top after he bombarded undercover vigilantes posing as teen girls with sex messages has been jailed for two years.

Mark Armstrong, 48, trawled social media and sent messages on Facebook to girls he thought were aged just 13 and 14.

But they were women working undercover to weed out online predators including one group calling themselves Child Protectors Scotland

Armstrong, of Wishaw in Lanarkshire, sent photos of himself posing wearing the blue strip and exchanged disgusting messages with three fake accounts.

But was confronted in the street in Coatbridge after speaking to the girls online.

He was filmed trying to escape the group and even attempting to jump in a passing car as he tried to flee.

Armstrong appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court and admitted three charges of communicating indecently with a child and one of breaching bail.

He has now been jailed for two years by Sheriff Frank Pieri.

Depute fiscal Agnes Meek told how Armstrong had been seen wearing the same Rangers strip each time he communicated with decoys.

She said: “A Facebook profile was created by an online decoy of a girl who was aged 14 and a friend request was received from Mark Armstrong whose profile picture was a Rangers logo.

“The accused sent a number of messages, asking to kiss her and for her to share his bed, and sent her his mobile number along with a picture of himself wearing a Rangers top.

“He told her he was ok with her being 14, asked to meet her at Coatbridge rail station and told her not to mention it to anyone and asked if she wanted to stay with him.

Meek went on to explain how he had repeated the process with other girls.

She told the court: “The next complainer works with Shadow Hunters and received a friend request from the accused with the same profile picture as before.

“He asked what she was up to and was told she was 14 and asked for a picture to be sent.

“He went on to ask her for her phone number before providing his own and repeatedly asked her to send him a pair of her knickers, he said she shouldn’t tell her mum about this.

“He said she could leave home and kept asking her to move in with him and to check the price of a bus and arranged to meet her at a bus station but not to tell anyone, and he also said he would take her phone so he could tell people she was older.”

Miss Meek added: “He then contacted a profile ran by another group seeking out predators of children, this time a 13-year-old girl who received a friend request from him wearing a blue football top.

The accused started flirting with her and asked if she had a boyfriend before sending numerous messages and told her that he was from Glasgow and wanted to meet her.

The depute fiscal told how cops attended Armstrong’s home following his arrest due to info that he had been travelling around Britain. Amrstrong was asked to provide any devices he had. He told cops he only had one but that it was not capable of accessing the internet.

When cops searched the flat and found two concealed mobile phones and an A4 sheet with names of girls on it was found.

Sheriff Pieri said there was no alternative but to jail him, adding: “These are extremely serious matters.”

Armstrong was placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

January 2019

Paedo Rangers fan who bombarded ‘girls aged 13 and 14’ with sex messages snared after wearing same Gers top

A PERVERT who bombarded undercover vigilantes posing as teenage girls with explicit messages was identified by his Rangers football top.

Mark Armstrong, 48, trawled social media and sent messages on Facebook to girls he thought were aged just 13 and 14.

But they were women working undercover to weed out online predators and Armstrong sent photos of himself posing wearing the blue strip.

Armstrong, of Wishaw, Lanarkshire, was snared by paedophile hunter groups including one calling themselves Shadow Hunters.

He exchanged disgusting messages with three fake accounts but was confronted in the street in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, after speaking to the girls online.

He was filmed trying to escape the group and even attempting to jump in a passing car as he tried to flee.

Armstrong appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court and admitted three charges of communicating indecently with a child and one of breaching bail.

Depute fiscal Agnes Meek told how Armstrong had been seen wearing the same Rangers strip each time he communicated with decoys.

She said: “A Facebook profile was created by an online decoy of a girl who was aged 14 and a friend request was received from Mark Armstrong whose profile picture was a Rangers logo.

“The accused sent a number of messages, asking to kiss her and for her to share his bed, and sent her his mobile number along with a picture of himself wearing a Rangers top.

“He told her he was ok with her being 14, asked to meet her at Coatbridge rail station and told her not to mention it to anyone and asked if she wanted to stay with him.

“The next complainer works with Shadow Hunters and received a friend request from the accused with the same profile picture as before.

“He asked what she was up to and was told she was 14 and asked for a picture to be sent.

“He went on to ask her for her phone number before providing his own and repeatedly asked her to send him a pair of her knickers, he said she shouldn’t tell her mum about this.

“He said she could leave home and kept asking her to move in with him and to check the price of a bus and arranged to meet her at a bus station but not to tell anyone, and he also said he would take her phone so he could tell people she was older.”

Miss Meek added: “He then contacted a profile ran by another group seeking out predators of children, this time a 13-year-old girl who received a friend request from him wearing a blue football top.

“The accused started flirting with her and asked if she had a boyfriend before sending numerous messages and told her that he was from Glasgow and wanted to meet her.

“Following his arrest, police attended his home because of information that he had been travelling around Britain.

“They asked him to provide any devices that he had and he said he only had one but that it was not capable of accessing the internet.

“A search commenced while the accused remained seated on a couch, when that was searched and two concealed mobile phones and an A4 sheet with names of girls on it was found.”

Sheriff Frank Pieri deferred sentence for reports and continued Armstrong’s bail.

He added: “These are extremely serious matters.”

He was placed on the sex offenders register.